A Wet and Festive New Year’s Eve

We decided to make wands again this year so we could turn people into various types of toads. HA! Actually, we had more of festive motive. This time, I figured Tot could be more involved in the process.

She drew the circles:

I cut and she helped me fold:

Then snip snap flip flap boom!

Stars! Contact paper would go under these babies, and I would trim them. Then they are ready to decorate.

Then insert a coat hanger with some popsicle sticks and you have yourself a magic, festive, toad turning into (if your festive mate is not being festive) wand!

It was a quiet day because of the rain, so Tot decided to make Coti some food


and of course, Snoopy needed a raincoat.

It was time. Time to embark on our adventure now, but Snoopy and Coti would have to stay home. We got all bundled up so we were waterproofed and warm.

I’m ready mom. Let’s vaminos!

I dawdled behind with my 100lbs of warmth.

And off she went. It’s like the end of a year. She’s growing up and going off a lot more. I am learning to embrace the growth and relish every single solitary moment. That will be my goal next year: to be present and relishing at all times. May your light shine, my dear Tatum. You are a light in this world and God created you for an amazing purpose.

Goodbye 2018. We are ready for new adventures, dreams and excitement.

Day 9 and Day 10

Both days required artistic ability.

For Day 9:

We needed to make Thank You cards, and oh is that fun! She had four people to work on. Mama, you’re going to love your doggie!

Day 10 required some thought.

We both decided cookies were in order instead of flowers. Austin was a perfect choice, so she drew him a picture of a character, Alex(?), from Minecraft. Not sure what that is, but we know he likes that game.

All I know is that thinking of others more intentionally these 12 days is the way it should be always.

May we continue this through 2019.

Date with Daddy! Dinner with Mama

Doug offered to take Tatum out on a date so Mama and I could celebrate our Christmas. She wanted to get all dressed up for her date with Doug!

When he arrived, she whisked him to the tree for a pic.

They sure look cute together. Isn’t he the cutest?
Then Mama and I posed and got excited for our night out.

Mama looked beautiful as usual. We had so much fun spending time together.

Tatum and Doug went to hit some golf balls and then dinner.

I think her hole in one symbolized our nights out!

Thank you, honey, for making it possible. XO

Reading pays off!

Back in the summer, Tatum and I decided to embark on a reading journey. Focus on the Family’s magazine, Clubhouse Jr., was doing a challenge to read over 1000 pages in the summer. SO we did it!

January’s issue just arrived.

Guess who was in it?


Day 8: We appreciate our Police Officers

We did this last year, and decided to do it again this year. So we got to work on making cookies for our civil servants and making them a sign

And off we went!

Now you never know what to expect when you go, but this time the Police Chief, the Head of Police and another Police Officer were all there SOOOOO very excited and grateful! They gave her a pin, a hat and some candy.

They wanted a picture with her so they could put it in their newsletter and put it on Facebook!!! Wow! (this is what they put on their page!)

She got to turn on the siren as we left.

We felt so special and appreciated. Tatum is definitely learning it is so much better to give than receive.

Thank you, Police, for protecting us!!


My cousins, Kelly and Kasey, are remarkable people. Kelly settled down young by marrying James and having three kids. (Nyla, Morgan, and Levi). She homeschooled and dedicated herself to her family. What a beautiful family she has produced!!! Kasey, spent her time working and growing in scholarly pursuits, hobbies, and volunteer work. Not to mention, her career has taken off. Also, she married Deno. They both (K and K) are successful in their own way. I adore both of them!

I had the chance to spend the morning with Kasey on Thursday. We just connect so well because we have similar personality types being Type A and very driven. However, we both have softened so much in our older ages. It’s so fun to see us both grow in our walks with Christ and in our introspection of ourselves.

Kasey, you are a gem, and I am so grateful for you.

Tatum loves you so much and enjoyed the time she got to spend with you too.

Merry Christmas! He is born! (and presents abound)

Good Morning! Now, we have a little issue here.

Who got a hold of the nog??? Hmm???? Coti The reindeer must have hijacked the paper cup and chewed the lid for that last tasty nib.

Well, the mystery shall never be resolved. So, we shall proceed with the first gift. The tradition is to open one gift before breakfast, and that had to be one she could use right away. She went to show Mama so we could take out Coti with the bike.

Let’s try out this bell and wake up the neighborhood as we walk Coti. Yes!

After this we worked up our appetite for reindeer pancakes. This was kind of stressful because A. They were to be coconut pancakes and quite healthy and I wondered if mom would like them. B. Could I make them round for the face? C. Would it all come together with the eyes, nose and mouth, antlers etc… and D. Would it stay hot so mom would not nuke them as she seems to always do when I do not make it burning hot. I overcame my anxieties and ……

Tatum was happy!!

my mom looked it me confused: Stephanie, these are delicious. The weight of the world left my shoulders. Hooray!

After the silliness….

Coffee and Jingle Bells (I’ve been practicing daily),

It was time for the TREE unveiling and stockings.

Tatum has the Three Bears and I’ve always had Hansel and Gretel. Notice Coti’s stocking is overflowing.

Now, the gifts. Shall we go for a trip to see what she got?

Tatum, now you can truly SEE every little detail.

And, I finally agreed she could get her ears pierced. I gave her a special pair of my earrings. They are real gold and small diamonds. They’ll go in her ears AFTER the piercing has occurred.

She got a mascot from GCU: GO LOPES!

Coti, are you having fun yet?

Ok, it’s your turn. That little bear will last the day.

Mama got some cozy slippers from Tot, and mom got me a nice check so I can buy something special.

Thank you, Mama!

A few more fun gifts for Tot. A cool logic game called Rush Hour and a nice little skating necklace. OH, and GIZMO! The neatest remote control car ever!

It was time for Doug to come and visit. We gave him a PVCP shirt and she got lots of fun gifts from him. One is a scooter!! The wheels even light up!

We headed to Kelly and James. Kelly gave her a fun advent tree. They had fun building it.

Dinner was delicious! James, Morgi and Nyla had it fixed up well.

The best part of the day was just being with family and celebrating his PRESENCE. He truly brings PEACE to this earth. Peace with God, Peace with ourselves, and Peace with others. May we remember this through the year.